Tech Companies Use Bicycling to Attract Top Talent
Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Twitter know top talent and young professionals are attracted to areas that support active lifestyles, which these days includes bike accessibility, vibrant outdoor communities, and convenient bike sharing systems.
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said, “America’s business leaders want us to build 21st century infrastructure so they can attract the best and brightest employees to their facilities and so their customers and suppliers can get to them. That’s what our communities need to be competitive.”
Google introduced its first bike fleet, which is used by employees to get to and from meetings and errands, on its Mountain View, California campus in 2008 and has since upgraded its fleet twice. There are now more than 1,000 bikes on the campus, serving an estimated 10,000 employees.
Apple launched their campus fleet at its headquarters in Cupertino, California in the summer of 2011, offering employees 300 bikes and free helmets. To encourage employees to ride to work, Apple also provides a monthly bonus to employees who commute using alternative transportation.
Facebook’s belief that bicycling benefits the bottom line can be seen in their efforts both on and off campus. Employees at Facebook’s new Menlo Park, California office have access to a bicycle fleet, staffed bike repair stations, and classes aimed at demystifying bike commuting for new riders.
“Over the years, we’ve focused on providing sustainable, green transportation alternatives to our employees, as well as helping our local neighborhood do the same,” said Facebook’s Transportation Manager, Jessica Herrera. “These efforts have included providing bicycles to our employees to use on or off campus, helping to re-stripe the roads around our neighborhood for the safety of cyclists in the area, and offering bicycle repairs onsite.”
Businesses like Twitter, Walmart, Williams-Sonoma, Kimberly-Clark, Hewlett Packard, and General Mills are recognizing the return on investment of on-campus bike shares, facilities and incentives. These days, bike accessibility isn’t just seen as a desirable employee perk, but instead as a benefit to the entire company.